In the 1970's there were no emergency clinics for pets in the Houston area. Each veterinary clinic was responsible for its own after-hour, holiday & weekend crisis. A group of clinics in the southwest region began using an answering service with a common phone number (JA 6-2995). That way, if a doctor knew he/she wasn’t going to be available, they could make arrangements for another doctor to see their emergency cases. This design was less than perfect due to inadequate staff and the strain placed on the patients and their owners. The journey to different locations to visit unfamiliar doctors was stressful all in itself. Although this plan worked rationally well, it lacked the client satisfaction we strive for.
IMPROVEMENT was the goal when they took action to lease a space in a shopping center. For convenience it was in the vicinity of participating clinics. It was equipped with a full staff for nights, holidays and weekends. Each clinic would provide a doctor on a rotational basis to spend the night and/or work shifts at the “emergency clinic”. As the evolution continued, client approval and patient care improved.
In addition, they were able to provide a space for specialists to practice during the day while the clinic was closed. Back then there were few veterinary specialists as well as specialty hospitals. However it wasn’t too long before the clinic was becoming quite crowded. As the specialty practices and the emergency clinics grew so did the need for larger facilities. The synergy of having specialists and emergency medicine in the same hospital became obvious and in the mid 1990s they moved into the Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists building to practice side by side.
Today, we continue to operate as distinct but separate entities with the common goal of providing the finest and absolute possible care that is available for pets.